Five-acre allotment site to be sold after failed council land swap deal
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A Norfolk council is set to sell off a five-acre piece of former allotment land – 15 years after it was deemed surplus to requirements.
Days Field, east of New Sporle Road in Swaffham, was used for allotments until the town council decided it was not needed in 2006.
Earlier this week, councillors took the decision to sell the land.
The council is talking with land agents and hopes to appoint consultants to offer the site for sale.
It hopes to begin these negotiations early in August.
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Days Field has been up for sale in the past, for about 18 months, but no buyer was found.
Swaffham mayor Judy Anscombe said: "This decision is the culmination of many years of complex and alternating ideas for use or disposal.
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"The sale will fully respect the original goodwill of the land's donors, more than 100 years ago, by ensuring that all proceeds will be protected and re-invested within the Swaffham community, for the benefit of residents now and into the future.
"Acquisition of the barn and pool facilities, from the Sacred Heart Convent, is nearing conclusion and will be a priority for part of the available funds. This is the first step as part of the council’s asset review."
Days Field was used by the town council as "a key bargaining chip" in recent negotiations with Breckland Council, regarding the future of the Green Britain Centre.
As part of an asset swap deal, Swaffham Town Council would have handed over the five-acre site which already has planning permission for 51 new homes.
In exchange, it would have taken over the Green Britain Centre, which had been vacated by green energy firm Ecotricity in 2018 as it was unprofitable.
But Breckland were approached by an international firm over Christmas last year which offered to bring 65 new jobs to the region – it was "too great to miss", according to the council's executive member for contracts and assets Paul Hewett.
Earlier this month the council revealed it had been bought by Flexion Global Limited, trading as Arbortec Forestwear, which specialises in the design and manufacture of PPE for the forestry and agricultural industry.